Sign near the entrance of a church in Wisdom, Montana. The Church of the Big Hole is a reference to the Big Hole river valley that follows along highway 43. It is one of three Churches of the Big Hole- others are at Wise River and Melrose, Montana.
(Photo by SeattleRay)
Complacency: It’s a death sentence to the spirit. It’s not a switch that suddenly goes off but gradually takes over the spiritual life of a believer day by day as they distance themselves more from the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Church events outside the norm of Sunday and Wednesday are checked off the list first, followed by an occasional Sunday for special events or to get caught up on sleep. Due to long list of things in your life you’ve now decided to step down from teaching or helping out in the ministries of the church, it’s just too much and someone will surely step up and fill the gap. You’ve done your time, right? Now that there is no obligation to the body of Christ and your load is so much lighter! You noticed that nobody stepped into your position, but they will. Little by little, week after week, your bible reading stops, church attendance stops, guilt ceases and the hole that was once filled with the goodness of God is now filled with vain attempts to accomplish trivial tasks on your “day off.”
Ezekiel wrote “O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.” ~ Ezekiel 13:4-5
Ezekiel, speaking to the leadership of the church says “you’re like foxes in the desserts.” Away from everyone and useless to them, you’ve left a hole in the church. Just for the record, nobody can step into your position, it’s yours until God says it’s not. And when He says that position is no longer yours, He’s already got another worked out. That’s what prevents complacency in the life of a Christian, else there’s a gap.
The Gap Defined:
1: A break in a barrier (as a wall, hedge, or line of military defense)
We’ve witnessed in America what happens when our borders are not guarded. The enemy comes in, sits among us un-noticed and launches an attack from the very ground we live on, and our people are lost. The gap you create by failing to attend church is one around your own life. Your family sees that church was of little importance, that God is expendable. And the gap that you’ve created leaves just enough room those that you care about to fall into the pits of Hell. Harsh? Yes. Real? Yes.
2: An opening in a solid structure or surface; a cleft or breach:
The church is getting less and less influential in our communities today. There was a time it was very real, and a solid structure in the lives of America. Now it’s viewed as a social meeting place where people come to be entertained or have their children attended to for a few hours. There’s a gap in the solidity of God’s house because His people have allowed the very structure of the church to be weakened by not taking a stand on the Word of God. What once was the “saving place” is now the place we’ll save if all else fails. And then, when we do need it, we’re so estranged to the Holy Spirit we don’t even know Him; and the gap continues.
Summer time is hard on me spiritually because I see so many people fall out of church during that time. We lose someone most every year during the summer because there’s “so much that needs done” elsewhere. And the gap begins.
If you’re thinking that this summer is too busy for Church, then your summer is too busy. Stay faithful friend! I found irony in the fact that the actual Church of the Big Hole was in “Wisdom” Montana and another at Wise River. Be wise… fill the gap.